McDonagh Eyes third MET Championship; Miller Knocked-out in Quarterfinals
July 30, 2010
Some portions of this release courtesy of the Metropolitan Golf Association
Scarsdale, N.Y. - Nittany Lion standout and rising senior Tommy McDonagh (East Norwalk, Conn.) has advanced to the semifinals of the 108th MET Amateur championship and is is gunning for his third championship after taking the top spot in 2006 and 2008. McDonagh won both of his matches Friday, including a comeback victory in second match. Incoming freshman Mike Miller (Brewster, N.Y.) won his first match of the day Friday in the Round of 16 before falling on the last last hole of his quarterfinal match to Cameron Wilson. McDonagh and Wilson, the two most recent MET champions, will face-off in the first semifinal, which will begin at 12:00 on Saturday.
In the Round of 16, Miller beat Bernard D'Amato, 5 & 4, to advance while McDonagh beat Derrek Aucone, 7 & 6, to move on.
The afternoon quarterfinal matches were closely fought with Wilson squeaking-out a 1-up victory over Miller, the 2010 Met Junior champion, while McDonagh had a back-and-forth challenge of his own against 2010 Ike champ Mike Ballo Jr. of Woodway.
Wilson was 2 up on the 13th hole, but Miller made a dent in the deficit with a birdie to close the gap to 1 down. With the largest gallery of all the matches following the group, Miller made his next move on 16, where Wilson was forced to take an unplayable lie. Miller then had a chance to take the lead on 17, but came up one rotation short on his birdie putt. The players headed to the home hole all square. After finding the rough off the 18th tee, Wilson knocked his second shot on the green to 25 feet. After Miller safely two-putted for par, Wilson took control of his destiny and banged home the birdie putt for the victory and a trip to the semis.
In the McDonagh-Ballo matchup, Ballo took an early lead after chipping in from fifty yards for eagle on the first hole. On the second hole, McDonagh overshot the green and found a bunker, which allowed Ballo to create a 2-up gap. McDonagh fought back to return to 1 down, but eventually made the turn 2 down to Ballo. It was on the back nine when McDonagh made his move with a birdie on the long par-three 10th and a par four on the 11th, allowing McDonagh to square the match. Ballo won the 12th hole, but McDonagh snagged the 13th, squaring the match once again. They traded wins on the 15th and 16th holes, and McDonagh took a 1-up lead to the 18th tee when Ballo bogeyed the 17th. McDonagh secured the victory by winning the 18th hole after Ballo wasn't able to get up and down from in front of the green. McDonagh will face a familiar opponent in Wilson in the semifinals.
Wilson and McDonagh will tee off at 12:00 noon in the first semifinal, with Alex Edfort and Evan Beirne going off at 12:10.